Mr. White flung Mrs. White’s cat out like a piece of paper. The cat crept to the garage and hid in a car wheel until it heard, in the evening, Mrs. White voice, “Where’s Madu?” and met her in the parlor.
Passing to the bedroom, he stared at it as it relaxed in her lap and it looked as though it felt cold. Had he thought of poison, he would have bought it at once and had he thought of a gun to shoot it and bury its corpse behind the fence, he’d have bought it at once. And, out of anger, if it’d have been difficult to shoot, he’d have liked to shoot his wife when she returned home.
This would have put him in jail.
Now he thought he entered the garage when his wife was out for her bank work, sprinkled the poison on its food, spied and logged how it ate it, reacted and collapsed to dust.
That is to say, he’d executed it in his imagination.
But the cat, knowing his devil, often hid in the roof of the poultry house whenever its owner wasn’t home and his owner wasn’t aware.
On Saturday morning, his wife said over coffee:
“Today’s date, you mean?” he asked.
“26th of June.”
“You got it.”
“It’s on the 28th of June, if I’m not mistaking, our daughter, who insisted I must buy her a cat to pet in the hostel, expects our visit.”
There’s nothing wrong with that, imitating colonialists, isn’t it?
Then he thought nothing else. Since he hated a cat, he didn’t want to think something else. And the cat was on her lap.
Now the cat craned its neck and looked at him, its red nose pointing to the P.O.P. ceilling, its eyes innocent.
It jumped down, entered between her legs under a table, rubbing them with its hairs, saw two other legs similar to these ones, sniffed the left toe, which smelt and tasted salty, paused for a moment and sniffed again.
With a bitter strength, the left toe marched its head to the carpeted-floor and crushed it.
“We must visit Muni on the 28th”, she said. “I’d inform Makwin to drive us.”
“We must”, he replied, reajusting his sitting position after, he knew, the cat had left. “Do whatever pleases you with your daughter”, he thought, “this cat must leave here. Dead!”
“This bothers me”, she said. “Assuming Makwin doesn’t have time, won’t you drive us?”
“This is what you should have said earlier. I’ve been your driver all this while. That’s if I finally decide to go there with you.”
“You don’t mean it. I don’t mean so. Dont quote me wrong. Muni would be happy to see me with her dad in a family car. If you say no, it’s o.k.”
He said nothing.
“Are we going together?” She asked.
“I’ll tell you.”
That was how he’d been sucking life out of her since the bank sacked him for truancy and he had nothingelse doing.